Manning goes out every off-season and every training camp and works just as hard as any of the no-name scrubs the Colts bring in who are desperate for any roll on the team. Last season, Marlin Jackson pushed Jason David hard for the starting CB job. I thought Marlin outplayed Jason during the pre-season, but Jason got the job and played the best football of his career as a result. He now has a nice contract with the Saints. Hughes should do the same for Hayden, and if Hayden complains the Colts should hand him a pink slip.
The competition in last year's training camp really propelled the Colts into the Super Bowl. Long established starters like Mike Doss lost their jobs to unknown rookies like Antoine Bethea. Rather than complain, Doss took his demotion in stride, and it ended up paying off for him. Before his injury, Doss was a huge playmaker for the Colts defense, and he'll continue to do so in Minnesota where they play the same Cover 2 defense coached by Doss's former secondary coach with the Colts, Leslie Frazier.
So, I really feel Hughes was a huge steal in the third round, with many NFL experts, including coach Dungy, comparing him to Tampa Bay CB Ronde Barber. For those that think losing Nick Harper and Jason David will hurt the Colts ability to defend the pass, I ask you to watch the progress of guys like Daymeion Hughes. If he wins the starting job after training camp, the Colts are a-okay at CB.
In other news, the Colts seem equally obsessed with players from Harvard as they do from players from Ohio State. This past weekend they signed Harvard TE Matt Farbotko to a rookie free agent contract, teaming him with Harvard RB Clifton Dawson. Here's how Farbotko got the contract:
Later on in the locker room, Colts team president Bill Polian tapped Brookline's Matt Farbotko on the shoulder and told him he wanted to see him in his office as soon as possible.
Just like that on Sunday, Farbotko signed a rookie free agent deal with Indianapolis and is one step closer to his dream of being on a National Football League 53-man roster when the season begins in September.
This is why one should never look at a roster and say, "Well, we already have enough depth here. Let's look at somewhere else." If a guy impresses you, and you already have 3 or even 4 good players at his position on the team, sign him anyway. You can never have enough depth. Trust me. Last season, the Colts lost both starting DTs yet still won the Super Bowl. Most other teams in the NFL would implode after receiving injuries like that. The Colts didn't. Why? Depth... and a trade for one of the better DTs in football (McFarland).
We're only a few weeks away from Mini-Camps, and three months away from TRAINING CAMP. I'm getting excited.